Kickoff: 4:00 pm Saturday, September 25th at Pt. Grey Turf
It was an afternoon of firsts for the 2010-2011 Rino “B” squad, with no stat more important than the three points collected after a well deserved victory.
After two disappointing outings to start the season, the build up to the match had been all business – expectations demanding nothing short than a commanding team effort.
With nearly a full squad to choose from (only Derrick, Ben Cougny and Corby out), Rino’s started the match with a positive 4-4-2 formation: Paulo, Sam, Stefan, Ash, Brandon, Vinny, Ryan Arceneaux, Jordan Atkinson, Adam, Corey Ford, Max.
Rino’s immediately took charge of the match, some neat passing moves pressuring the Metro backline into conceding two early corners. After barely allowing the opposition out of their half, Rino’s were rewarded with a goal on fifteen minutes.
Following some excellent interplay between Sam and Adam down the left flank, Corey Ford found the ball at his feet on the edge of the penalty area and wasted no time unleashing an unstoppable left footed drive over the outstretched Metro goalkeeper.
Having chosen an opportune time to open his account for the season, Ford will now be hoping to maintain his run of games which has – at least temporarily – vaulted him ahead of Sami Salo in the ‘most likely to be injured getting out of bed’ category.
The goal seemed to spur Metro into action as they increasingly entered the game. While Rino’s had bossed the opening minutes with their movement and short passing, the game became more and more and aerial battle that favoured the away side.
Despite dropping Adam into an attacking midfield role to adopt a 4-5-1 formation, Rino’s struggled to re-assert their earlier dominance. If anything Metro were guilty of wasting the few opportunities they created and the game went into half time with the one goal separating the two sides.
A number of substitutions were made at half time which reflected more of a ‘fresh legs’ approach than our earlier ‘line changes.’ In stepped Ben Motum and Oscar at the back, Damien, Declan and Greg in midfield, while Gowen was brought in as the lone striker to work energetically up front.
Ford’s absence left fans in the terraces asking a few questions – many wondering if a dressing room bust-up had occurred during the Rino half time talk. Fortunately it was later revealed that Ford had left the park to squeeze in a visit to Yossi Benayoun’s witch doctor for his weekly placenta treatment. After all one can never be too safe, Salo’s return from injury is likely scheduled for early 2011 and he has only just celebrated his 36th birthday.
Mute points aside, both teams immediately pressed in search of goals after the re-start. But it was Rino’s who controlled the majority of possession, most of the players getting involved in some slick movements from wing to wing. Damien, Ryan and Vinny displayed good industry in the middle of the park and the back line stood strong against Metro’s attacks. Paulo, largely a spectator, responded well when called into action.
The further introduction of Robin and Alex provided a spark for Rino’s just as Metro were tiring and becoming more desperate in their quest for an equalizer. As Metro pushed forward, Rino’s were quick on the counter, Greg’s darting run picked out by Vinny, only for his shot to be well blocked by the keeper. By far the best chance of the half fell to Adam in the dying moments, with only the keeper to beat he blazed over from ten yards.
Rino’s played out the remainder of the match with ten men after Robin succumbed to an unfortunate broken finger. Yet it made little difference in the end, as Rino’s celebrated their first win and first clean sheet of the season. Our record now stands at 1-1-1 with three goals scored and three conceded.
Final Score: Rino’s 1 – UBC Metropolitan 0